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Mon, May 27, 2013 8:33 pm

SNMP Tester

If you need an SNMP test tool for a Windows system, Paessler, a company that produces network monitoring software, offers SNMP Tester for free. There is no installation process for the software other than extracting the files in the downloaded zip file to a directory of your choice and running snmptest.exe.

After extracting the files to a directory under Program Files using an administrator account, I tried running the program from a normal user account. The program didn't appear to open, though I could see it running when I used the Task Manager to check on running processes, although the CPU utilization for it stayed at 0. So I right-clicked on snmptest.exe and chose "Run as administrator". The program then opened. I found that I could extract the files to a folder in the My Documents directory of the regular user account and run it from there. The issue I first encountered when attempting to run the program from the Program Files directory was that the program wants to update an snmp.ini file in the directory from which it runs and that account didn't have write access to the Program Files subdirectory within which it was located.

SNMP Tester start window

When you run the program, place the IP address of the system you wish to scan in the Device/IP field; if the SNMP port has been changed from the default value of port 161, change that also. Specify the community string in the Community field. If you want to see the uptime of the device to just verify the device is responding to SNMP queries, leave "Read Device Uptime" selected under Select Request Type. Then click on the Start button to initiate the scan.

You can also put an OID, such as in the Walk field, select the Walk radio button and click on Start to "walk" through a sequence of OIDs or specify a particular OID, e.g., in the Custom OID field.

[/os/windows/software/network/snmp] permanent link

Wed, May 22, 2013 11:05 pm

Using the SSH Client on a Chromebook to Establish a Socks Proxy Connection

The Chrome OS on a Chromebook contains a Secure Shell (SSH) client application. To access it, hit the Ctrl-Alt-T keys simultaneously, which will open a terminal window as a tab in the Chrome browser. Type ssh at the "crosh>" prompt to access the ssh client.
Welcome to crosh, type 'help' for a list of commands.
crosh> ssh

Within the ssh application, typing help will show you a list of the available commands.

ssh> help
connect - connect
dynamic-forward port - dynamic socks proxy (-D)
forward port:host:port - static port forward (-L)
help - this
host <hostname> - remote hostname
key <file> - sets private key to use (-i)
nocmd - don't execute command (-N)
port <num> - port on remote host (-p)
server-alive-interval <num> - set ServerAliveInterval option
exit - exit ssh subsystem
user <username< - username on remote host
Note that this program can only bind local ports in the range
8000-8999, inclusive.

To establish the SOCKS proxy connection via SSH, type dynamic-forward port where port is the port number you wish to use for the SOCKS proxy. E.g., dynamic-forward 8000. Note: the help information for the SSH client states "that this program can only bind local ports in the range 8000-8999, inclusive." Then type host fqdn where fqdn is the fully qualified domain name or IP address of the system to which you wish to connect followed by user username where username is the account under which you wish to log into the SSH server. They type connect to establish the connection.

ssh> dynamic-forward 8000
ssh> host
ssh> user jdoe
ssh> connect

You will be prompted for the password for the login once the Chromebook connects to the remote SSH server.

To now change the proxy settings of the Chrome browser, take the following steps:

  1. Click the network icon Chrome OS
Connection Manager in the lower-right corner of your screen.
  2. Select Settings and find the "Internet connection" section on the Settings page that appears.
  3. You will need to check the "Allow proxies for shared networks" check box if the network is shared with all users of the Chromebook. If checked, all profiles on your Chrome device will use the proxy settings set for a network. If this box isn't checked and the network is shared for all users of the Chromebook, you won't be able to configure the proxy settings, as they will be grayed out, until you check this box.
  4. Click the network for which you're using the proxy settings.
  5. Select the Proxy tab in the window that displays the network options.
  6. Configure your proxy settings by selecting the "Manual proxy configuration" option and then entering the proxy settings. For the case above, where I'm using a socks proxy created through the SSH client, I would put, which is the localhost address, in the SOCKS host field and 8000 in the port field, since that was the port I chose to use. Putting in the host field tells the browser to establish the connection via port 8000 on the local system from which you established the SSH connection.

    Chrome OS proxy settings

    Then click on the Close button to initiate the use of the socks proxy.
  7. You can verify that you are using the socks proxy, by going to a website, such as that will show you the IP address from which it sees your connection originating.

[/os/chrome] permanent link

Sun, May 19, 2013 6:12 pm

TeamViewer and Chromebook

The antivirus software on a family member's Microsoft Windows desktop system was close to expiring and another member of the household had a license for Norton 360 that would cover 3 systems, so I uninstalled the free Avast antivirus software I had placed on the system previously and started the installation for Norton 360. Because it was going to take more than a half hour for the download of Norton 360 to complete once I had started the installation, I left and tried connecting to the system remotely with TeamViewer, a program that allows you to remotely control a system from a variety of other systems, which I had installed on the system previously.

I had used the TeamViewer application on a Microsoft Windows system before to manage the family member's PC, but since I didn't have access to the Microsoft Windows desktop system which I had used previously at the moment, I thought I would try using my Android phone, instead, since TeamViewer provides an app for it.

I installed the TeamViewer app on my Android phone and remotely connected to the Microsoft Windows 7 PC. The following gestures can be made on the Android phone to remotely manage another system.

Mouse interactions:

From my phone, I connected to the PC, but I found it difficult to manage the PC from the phone's small screen. So I tried from a Chromebook system running the Google Chrome OS, instead.

Using the Chrome browser on it, I logged into the TeamViewer website. I then could see the system I wanted to control with TeamViewer. I then was presented the option to download and install a client program or to use the alternative Web client. When I clicked on "Download and install", I was taken to a download page for a Microsoft Windows application, so I went back and selected the Web client, instead. However, I then received an error message:

TypeError: Object#<HTMLObjectElement> has no
method 'ExternalConnect'

But I was able to proceed past it to a login page to establish the connection where I was able to put in the email address I had given for the TeamViewer account and the accompanying password. But I kept getting "Timeout while connection" messages when I clicked on the Connect to partner button. I went back to the point where I opted for the Web client connection and tried again. This time I was able to successfully establish a connection. The text on the remote Windows system was very tiny, but I was able to read it well enough to complete the installation of the antivirus software.

I clicked on View at the top of the webpage displayed for the connection, then clicked on Quality and changed the setting from Optimize speed to Optimize quality, which made the remote display somewhat easier to read. Quicking on View and changing the scaling to "original" made the display even easier to read, but I had to scroll the display then to see various parts of the remote display.

At this point, I would consider managing a Microsoft Windows system remotely from a Chromebook with TeamViewer acceptable, but I'll have to experiment with managing a system from the Android phone more before I can consider it an acceptable means of remotely managing another system with TeamViewer on it in a situation where I might not have access to another device to use for remote troubleshooting.

[/os/windows/software/remote-control/teamviewer] permanent link

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